25-29 May 2015 lisbon congress center, portugal
Bio & Abstract

Martin Geilhausen
Zurich University of Applied Sciences
Institute of Natural Resource Sciences

Martin Geilhausen is a Geomorphologist, Geologist and Soil Scientist by studies with a particular focus on mountain geomorphology and links to environmental management, landscape sensitivity and education and public outreach. His research activities address sediment budgets and routing in the disturbance regime land systems of glacier forefields. He is interested in the proglacial transformation and metamorphosis and the geomorphic impacts of climate change. Recent research is related to visualization and outreach techniques.

Is the answer 42? - An Evaluation of Software Frameworks for Landscape Visualization. A Case Study from Switzerland.

Smaller Swiss communities are facing increasing development pressure on landscapes and thus are required to balance human demand with spatial requirements of nature as part of sustainability planning initiatives. Recent research projects on participatory planning provided some evidence that visualizations of development scenarios support and enhance both public input and future acceptance. However, there is still debate on the most appropriate visualization technique and level of detail used for scenario visualization. We evaluated different visualization techniques in three case study workshops regarding preparation effort, dynamic navigation, interactivity and level of detail. Scenarios were composed by i.) a combination of GIS, CAD and virtual globe (ArcGIS, SketchUp & GoogleEarth), ii.) photo composition and montage (Cinema4D), and iii.) a new planning software framework (modularCity). Visualization with GoogleEarth and Cinema4D were used complementarily at different spatial scales and view perspectives, i.e. mesoscale birds eye views and microscale street views respectively. We found that dynamic exploration of scenarios, interactivity and real-time changes and an appropriate level of detail increased the participants - activity and understanding. Challenges are, however, the relation to reasonable investment and effort for scenario preparation. Future studies should therefore investigate the most appropriate and efficient workflow to effectively support participatory planning processes in landscape development. This work is part of the research programme 'Room for People and Nature' of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL. Current research includes the analyses of the participants’ evaluation of the potential and suitability of each technique and scenario rework with Game Engines. Financial support provided by the Federal Office of Environment, the Cantons of Aargovia, Lucerne, St. Gall, Glarus, the municipality of Glarus Nord, WSL and the Commission for Technology and Innovation CTI is gratefully acknowledged.

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